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Nepali Congress demands re-verification of Maoists' army

Nepali Congress on Sunday demanded re-verification of the Maoists' rebel army, days after leakage of a video showing party supremo Prachanda saying that the PLA guerrillas' numbers were actually not more than 8,000.

world Updated: May 10, 2009 20:30 IST

Nepali Congress on Sunday demanded re-verification of the Maoists' rebel army, days after leakage of a video showing party supremo Prachanda saying that the PLA guerrillas' numbers were actually not more than 8,000.

"The Maoist chairman (Prachanda) himself has said the real strength of the PLA is 4,000 and not the verified 20,000, so we demand that the verification be conducted again," Nepali Congress leader Prakash Sharan Mahat told PTI.

Mahat said this after his party held its Parliamentary Party meeting on Sunday which discussed various issues including army integration, peace process, constitution drafting and formation of the new government.

"The integration of the PLA should be done on the basis of 4,000 PLA fighters," he said.

Prachanda, in the video dated January 2, 2008, had claimed that the PLA's real strength was between 7,000 and 8,000 and their strength would be just 4,000 after verification by the United Nations Mission in Nepal.

Earlier, Maoists had claimed that their combatants' number is 35,000 but after the UN's verification the figure was reduced to 19,000